recipes

Meal Ideas 18 January 2022

5 Cooking Swaps to Help Manage Cholesterol

(Family Features) When cooking, keep in mind small changes that can make a big impact on heart health.

High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke, with about 38% of American adults diagnosed with high cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. It can be managed by getting levels regularly tested and making lifestyle changes like eating a heart-healthy diet.

  • Reduce saturated fat – Select lean cuts of meat or opt for plant protein, limit processed meats, broil or bake rather than pan-fry meats and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Eat more fish – Fish can be fatty or lean, but it’s still low in saturated fat. Choose oily fish like salmon or trout, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Use liquid oils in place of solid fats – For roasting, sauteing and more, use non-tropical liquid vegetable oils like canola, safflower, soybean or olive instead of butter, lard or shortening.
  • Lower dairy fats – Low-fat, fat-free or non-dairy milk can be used in many recipes instead of whole milk or half-and-half.
  • Increase fiber and whole grains – Add high-fiber vegetables to meals, serve fruit instead of juice and try brown rice instead of white.

These simple tips and better-for-you recipes like Chicken Tortilla Soup and Air Fryer Crispy (Un) Fried Chicken can help you eat healthy without sacrificing taste.

Find tips for managing cholesterol and other risk factors at heart.org/cholesterol.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe is reprinted with permission from "Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook, 2nd Edition." Copyright 2018 by the American Heart Association. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Servings: 4

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat discarded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • 2 cups fat-free, no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added, diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ancho powder
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 corn tortillas (6 inches each), cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 corn tortilla (6 inches), torn into pieces
  • 2-4 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped avocado
  • 1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips
  1. In slow cooker, stir chicken, corn, broth, tomatoes, onion, sugar, ancho powder, garlic and salt. Cook, covered, on low, 6-8 hours, or on high, 3-4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. On baking sheet, arrange tortilla strips in single layer. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer baking sheet to cooling rack. Let strips stand 15 minutes, or until cool. Transfer to airtight container and set aside.
  4. When soup is ready, transfer 1 cup to food processor or blender. Stir in tortilla pieces. Let mixture stand 1 minute. Process until smooth. Stir mixture into soup. Stir in cilantro.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with avocado, bell pepper and reserved tortilla strips.

Air Fryer Crispy (Un) Fried Chicken

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
Servings: 4

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), visible fat discarded, flattened to 1/4-inch thickness, patted dry with paper towels
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. reheat air fryer to 390 F.
  2. In shallow dish or pie pan, whisk flour, parsley, oregano, pepper and cayenne.
  3. In separate shallow dish or pie pan, whisk buttermilk and hot sauce.
  4. In third shallow dish or pie pan, stir panko and Parmesan.
  5. Place dishes and large plate in row. Dip chicken in flour mixture then buttermilk mixture then panko mixture, turning to coat at each step and gently shaking off excess. Using fingertips, gently press panko mixture so it adheres. Place chicken on plate. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly spray chicken with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange chicken in single layer in air fryer basket, working in batches if needed. Cook 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and coating is golden brown, turning once halfway through and lightly spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

Source: American Heart Association

Meal Ideas 05 January 2022

Better-for-You Family Favorites for a Healthier Routine

(Family Features) Taking time to nurture your health and well-being starts with building healthier habits. As the seasons change, challenge yourself to make small yet consistent choices that help you and your family through transitions at school, the office or wherever your days take you.

To help you establish (or re-establish) healthy habits during mealtime and beyond, consider these tips.

Eat Meals Together

“Making time for meals together as a family provides a chance to connect and decompress,” said Bridget Wojciak, director of nutrition at Kroger Health, a national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative. “In fact, regular meals at home can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem and improve feelings of connection.”

Bring everyone together with a better-for-you seasonal favorite like Turkey and Bean Tostadas.

Make Time for Yourself

Chronic stress can have a negative impact on mental and physical health, but turning lost moments – like a meal by yourself spent mindlessly scrolling through social media – into mindful moments can help. Try practicing gratitude at the table by thinking of three things you’re grateful for or putting your fork down between each bite to savor the flavor and consider the nourishment you’re receiving.

Enjoy the Cooler Temperatures

Cooler temperatures can make it more enjoyable to take advantage of outdoor exercise, which is a good way to soak in vitamin D to improve your mood and boost immunity. Going for a brisk walk after mealtime (solo or with your pet), jogging and even raking leaves are examples of activities that count toward the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Visit heart.org/healthyforgood to download more heart-healthy recipes and find more tips for a healthier you in mind, body and heart.

Tuna Pasta Casserole

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 4

  • 4 ounces dried whole-wheat rotini pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 pouch (11 ounces) low-sodium chunk light tuna
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) low-fat, low-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose, salt-free seasoning blend
  • 3/4 cup crushed low-sodium, whole-grain crackers
  • 1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Using colander, drain well. Transfer to large bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray 2-quart glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    Stir mixed vegetables, tuna, soup, roasted peppers, half-and-half and seasoning blend into pasta until combined. Transfer to baking dish. Top with crackers and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes, or until casserole is warmed through and topping is golden brown.

Nutritional information per serving: 400 calories; 7 g total fat; 2.5 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 2 g polyunsaturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 537 mg sodium; 52 g carbohydrates; 8 g dietary fiber; 7 g sugars; 32 g protein.

Turkey and Bean Tostadas

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 5

Salsa:

  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted and diced
  • 1 large ear of corn, husks and silk discarded, kernels removed
  • 1-2 medium fresh jalapenos, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Tostadas:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 5 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 8 ounces ground skinless turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. To make salsa: In small bowl, stir tomatoes, avocado, corn, jalapenos, onions and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  3. To make tostadas: Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place tortillas on baking sheet. Lightly spray tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. Using fork, pierce tortillas several times to prevent from filling with air.
  4. Bake tortillas 5-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  5. In medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat, cook turkey, chili powder, cumin and coriander 5-6 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally to turn and break up turkey.
  6. Add beans and water. Cook 5 minutes, or until beans are heated through. Using potato masher, coarsely mash beans. Remove from heat.
  7. To assemble tostadas, spread turkey mixture over each tortilla. Top with salsa.

Nutritional information per serving: 260 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 4.5 g monounsaturated fat; 18 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrates; 8 g dietary fiber; 7 g sugars; 19 g protein.

Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 4

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced, or 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
  1. In large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook onion 6-8 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in gingerroot, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in flour. Pour in broth and water. Using spatula, scrape bottom of pot to dislodge any browned bits. Stir in pumpkin. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in milk. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls.
  4. Garnish with sour cream and chives, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 138 calories; 2.5 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat; 1 mg cholesterol; 199 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrates; 10 g dietary fiber; 14 g sugars; 6 g protein.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Tuna Pasta Casserole)

Source: American Heart Association

Meal Ideas 22 September 2021

Better School Days Ahead with Egg-Powered Recipes

(Family Features) The school year can be full of challenges, but fueling kids for a full day of learning tops the priority list. Affordable and easy to prepare, eggs are a key ingredient for successful days in the classroom. From a wide variety of breakfast options for even the pickiest of eaters to a nearly limitless menu of lunches, eggs keep kids full and energized to conquer each school day.

As one of the only foods that naturally have vitamin D, eggs offer a nutrient critical for building strong bones. Eggs also help the body absorb nutrients like vitamin E and carotenoids that are found in plant foods, making them a perfect partner for veggies that might be a hard sell for some kids. Additionally, they’re one of the best sources of choline, which is critical for brain health and development at every age and stage.

What’s more, between learning and down time, many kids spend a lot of hours in front of electronic screens. The lutein and zeaxanthin found in egg yolks can help protect their eyes from harmful blue light.

Try these easy recipes that support eye health, brain health and nutrient absorption, and are easy to prepare ahead of time. To learn more about the nutritional benefits of eggs and find more family-friendly recipes featuring eggs, search #ProteinPrepSchool on social media or visit IncredibleEgg.org.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheddar Quinoa Bites

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil or coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, crack eggs. Whisk until well combined. Stir in cheese, quinoa, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and basil, if desired, until well combined.
  3. Use 1/4-cup measuring cup to divide mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake 16-18 minutes until eggs are set. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

Simple Egg Salad Sandwich

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 8 slices rustic wheat bread
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  1. Chop eggs.
  2. In medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Add chopped eggs, celery and green onions; mix well.
  3. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.
  4. Serve on wheat bread with lettuce leaves.

Blueberry, Avocado and Banana Muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium banana (about 1/3 cup), peeled
  • 1 large avocado (about 3/4 cup), peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In bowl, whisk flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, mash banana and avocado together. Add applesauce, egg and milk. Stir to combine then stir into flour mixture. Fold in blueberries and divide batter into prepared muffin tins.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Store leftovers in airtight container up to 3 days.

Veggie and Cheese Frittata Fingers

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In skillet over medium heat, add olive oil then saute bell pepper, onion and zucchini until tender. Add garlic and spinach; cook until wilted.
  3. In bowl, beat eggs then add sauteed vegetables, cheese, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until fully set. Allow to cool.
  5. Cut into seven strips then down the middle to create 14 pieces.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers in airtight container up to 4 days.
  7. To freeze, place cooled frittata fingers in freezer bag and lay flat until frozen. When ready to eat, microwave 60-90 seconds, or until warmed.

Source: American Egg Board

Healthy 09 September 2021

Go for Grapes as a Smart Choice for Health and Wellness

(Family Features) The importance of health and wellness is top of mind for many people. There are many contributing factors to wellness such as diet, physical activity, social engagement and genetics. All are important, but a first step to wellness is choosing healthy foods to fuel the body every day, ideally foods that support health in multiple ways.

Consider grapes from California: they are convenient, healthy, hydrating and provide energy to help support healthy and active lifestyles. Eating grapes is also linked to beneficial impacts on the health of specific body parts and systems, including the heart, brain, skin and colon.

Most of grapes’ health benefits are attributed to the presence of natural plant compounds known as polyphenols, which help promote antioxidant activity and influence biological processes that support overall health. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are natural sources of polyphenols.

Fresh California grapes are refreshing by the handful, but they also lend a tasty burst of flavor to a wide range of recipes you can enjoy any time of day. This Heart Smart Smoothie is a deliciously healthy way to start the day; pairing grapes with nuts and seeds in No-Bake Energy Bites delivers a hearty snack to enjoy midday, after school or following a workout; and Quinoa, Cauliflower and Grape Salad is perfect at any mealtime for a powerful combo of both taste and health.

Grapes and a Healthy Brain

Research suggests regularly eating grapes as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle may contribute to improved health outcomes, including brain health.

In a study of people with early memory decline published in “Experimental Gerontology,” subjects were either fed whole grape powder equivalent to just 2 1/4 cups of grapes per day or a placebo powder. The results showed consuming grapes preserved healthy metabolic activity in regions of the brain associated with early Alzheimer’s disease, where metabolic decline takes hold.

Subjects who didn’t consume grapes exhibited significant metabolic decline in these critical regions. Additionally, those consuming the grape-enriched diet showed beneficial changes in regional brain metabolism that correlated to improvements in attention and working memory performance.

Find more nutritious recipes at GrapesFromCalifornia.com .

No-Bake Energy Bites

Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 energy bites

  • 1/3       cup raw almonds
  • 1/3       cup walnuts
  • 1/2       cup pitted dates
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons fresh orange juice or lemon juice
  • 1          pinch sea salt
  • 8          seedless California grapes
  • 1/3       cup chia or hemp seeds
  1. In bowl of food processor, pulse almonds and walnuts 5-6 times to coarsely chop. Add dates and process until mixture is finely chopped. Add juice and process until just combined; transfer mixture to small plate.
  2. Dry grapes. Pack 1 tablespoon date mixture around each grape, completely covering to seal. Repeat with remaining grapes and date mixture.
  3. Roll balls in seeds to coat. Store in covered container in refrigerator up to three days.

Nutritional information per energy bite: 120 calories; 3 g protein; 12 g carbohydrates; 7 g fat (53% calories from fat); 0.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Heart Smart Grape and Peanut Butter Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1          cup red California grapes, chilled
  • 2/3       cup unsweetened almond milk, chilled
  • 1/2       cup ice cubes
  • 1/2       small banana
  • 1          tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 2          teaspoons cacao powder
  1. In blender on high speed, blend grapes, almond milk, ice, banana, peanut butter, flax seed and cacao powder until smooth.

Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 8 g protein; 53 g carbohydrates; 14 g fat (36% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 7 g fiber.

Quinoa, Cauliflower and Grape Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          cup white quinoa
  • 1          small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 1 1/4    cups red California grapes, halved
  • 3          scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2          ripe avocados, diced 1/3 inch

Dressing:

  • 2          tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2       teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions and drain on two layers of paper towels. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add cauliflower, grapes, scallions and avocado pieces.
  2. To make dressing: In small bowl, whisk vinegar, lime juice, honey, cumin, oregano and salt until blended. Gradually whisk in oil. Drizzle dressing over quinoa mixture and toss gently. Season with pepper, to taste.

Nutritional information per serving: 260 calories; 5 g protein; 27 g carbo hydrates; 16 g fat (55% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 12 July 2021

Deliver Flavor and Nutrition Despite Busy Schedules

(Family Features) As kids and parents return to busy schedules full of sports, homework and weeknight activities, building a plan for nutritious and easy meals can be challenging. Piecing together a menu that fuels active minds without spending hours in the kitchen is a common goal for many families.

These recipes require minimal prep and call for on-hand ingredients like dairy food favorites that provide nutrients people of all ages need to grow and maintain strong bodies and minds.

Whether you enjoy it together in the morning before getting the day started or mix it up with breakfast for dinner, this Sustainable Frittata is called “sustainable” because you can use leftover cheeses, veggies, ham, sausage and more to recycle ingredients you already have on hand.

For a customizable kid-pleaser, turn to Chopped Chicken Taco Salad and garnish with your family’s favorite toppings. When it’s time to put a twist on a classic while changing up your dinner routine, Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are perfect for putting something new on the table. Make supper a cinch with Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese, which lets you put the work in the hands of your slow cooker for a versatile dish that can be served when homework is finished.

Visit milkmeansmore.org to find more recipes perfect for bringing loved ones together.

Chopped Chicken Taco Salad

Recipe courtesy of Megan Gundy of “What Megan’s Making” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1          cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3       cup buttermilk, plus additional (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus additional (optional)
  • 3          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons taco seasoning

Salad:

  • 2          pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2          tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          head leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1          avocado, chopped into bite- sized pieces
  • 1          cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1          cup corn
  • 1          pint grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1          cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Mexican)
  • tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips, for topping
  1. To make dressing: In small bowl, stir yogurt, buttermilk, lime juice, cilantro and taco seasoning until combined. Taste and adjust lime juice and cilantro as needed. If dressing is too thick, add buttermilk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make salad: Season chicken on both sides with taco seasoning. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add chicken to pan and cook on both sides until outside is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Remove to cutting board and slice into strips.
  3. On large platter, heap chopped lettuce. Sprinkle chicken over top. Add avocado, beans, corn, tomatoes and shredded cheese. Drizzle dressing on top and sprinkle with tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips.

Sustainable Frittata

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 12        eggs, beaten
  • 1/4       cup whole milk, half and half or heavy cream
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          cups shredded cheese, any variety
  • 3          cups assorted cooked vegetables and pre-cooked meats
  • fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Preheat cast-iron pan or oven-safe skillet over medium heat.
  3. In large bowl, mix eggs, milk and salt then add shredded cheese.
  4. Add cooked vegetables and meats to pan to reheat. Once vegetables have softened, add egg mixture to pan and scramble. Let sit over medium heat 1 minute.
  5. Carefully transfer to oven and bake 10-15 minutes. Frittata is done when eggs have set. Remove from oven and top with fresh herbs.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of “Rachel Cooks” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Servings: 8

  • 16        ounces elbow pasta
  • 4          tablespoons butter
  • 3          ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2          cups whole milk
  • 12        ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/2       cup light sour cream
  • 2          large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4       teaspoon ground mustard
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8          ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8          ounces grated provolone cheese
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and pour into large slow cooker.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, whisk butter and cream cheese until melted. Stir in milk, evaporated milk and sour cream; whisk until combined. Remove from heat; whisk in eggs, ground mustard and pepper, to taste. Stir in cheeses. Pour mixture over cooked macaroni and stir to combine cheese and pasta.
  3. Cover and cook 2 hours on low. Switch to warm until ready to serve.

Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Recipe courtesy of Katie Serbinski of “Mom to Mom Nutrition” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 4          slices French or Italian bread
  • 3          tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2          large roasted red peppers
  • 4          slices mozzarella cheese
  • 2          tablespoons butter, softened
  1. Preheat skillet or grill pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Spread insides of bread slices evenly with pesto. Stack red peppers and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Spread outer sides of bread with softened butter and grill until toasted and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Rest 1 minute before cutting.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 28 May 2021

A Full School Day of Family Favorites

(Family Features) Each school day calls for a multitude of meals and snacks to make sure little learners are energized for time spent in the classroom, playing with friends and completing their homework. From breakfast to dinner and sweet rewards after a long day of educational activities, it’s important to keep the family on schedule with favorite recipes.

These options for a simple quiche that’ll almost certainly leave leftovers for the week, tasty tacos with a cheeseburger twist and cream-filled cookies offer delicious ways to keep your loved ones full and happy.

Visit Culinary.net to find more family-friendly dishes.

Say Goodbye to Basic Breakfast

The same old breakfast routine week after week can become tiresome and dull, especially for little ones.

It’s time to add something new to the table with fresh ingredients and simple instructions to enhance the start to busy weekdays. Try this recipe for an Easy Breakfast Quiche that is sure to have your senses swirling with every bite while fueling kiddos for the day ahead.

Find more breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.

Easy Breakfast Quiche

Servings: 12

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli with cheese
  • 12 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided
  • 2 frozen deep-dish pie shells (9 inches each)
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In medium bowl, add broccoli and cheese contents from package. Microwave 5 minutes, or until cheese is saucy. Set aside.
  3. In skillet, cook chopped bacon 4 minutes. Add green onions; cook 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 4 minutes, or until bacon is completely cooked and mushrooms are tender. Drain onto paper towel over plate. Set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Add broccoli and cheese mixture. Add 1 cup cheese. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  5. In pie shells, divide drained bacon mixture evenly. Divide broccoli mixture evenly and pour over bacon mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese over both pies.
  6. Bake 40 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool at least 12 minutes before serving.

Note: To keep edges of crust from burning, place aluminum foil over pies for first 20 minutes of cook time. Remove after 20 minutes and allow to cook uncovered until completed.

A Tasty Take on School Night Tradition

Put a twist on taco Tuesday and get outside the burger bun with this easy weekday dinner idea.

Pick up a few simple ingredients you can feel good about feeding your family including Coleman Natural uncured bacon, which has no artificial ingredients or preservatives and is sourced from American family farms that humanely raise their animals with no antibiotics or added hormones.

For more creative, kid-friendly recipes, visit ColemanNatural.com/recipes.

Bacon Cheeseburger Tacos

Servings: 4

  • 8-10 slices Coleman Natural bacon
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 slices cheese
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 avocado, skin removed and sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 8-10 romaine lettuce leaves, torn
  1. In large frying pan or cast-iron skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Remove slices from skillet to drain on paper towel. Pour bacon fat from pan.
  2. Shape ground beef into four burger patties, seasoning both sides of patties with salt and pepper.
  3. In skillet over medium-high heat, cook burgers about 4 minutes per side for medium doneness.
  4. Top each burger with one slice cheese then cover skillet with lid and cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Cap Off School Nights with a Creamy Cookie

Once the school day is done, homework is complete and dinner is finished, there’s just one thing left for many families: dessert. After all the day’s accomplishments, sometimes a sweet treat is the perfect way to reward kiddos for their hard work in the classroom.

These Oatmeal Creme Cookies are a tasty example of a tempting dish that comes together in less than half an hour, so you don’t add more stress to a busy day. Plus, with high-quality ingredients like C&H Sugars, they can keep the whole family happy while allowing little ones to help in the kitchen.

Visit chsugar.com for more back-to-school recipe inspiration.

Oatmeal Creme Cookies

Recipe courtesy of chef Haley Williams @IfYouGiveABlondeAKitchen

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Oatmeal Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Organic Raw Cane Sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick oats

Creme Filling:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. To make oatmeal cookies: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves, if desired. Set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter, dark brown sugar and raw cane sugar on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  4. With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until combined while avoiding overmixing. Add oats and mix until incorporated.
  5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Space dough balls at least 3 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are light brown. Let cookies cool 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make creme filling: In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until light in color, about 3 minutes. With mixer on low, gradually add confectioners’ sugar and mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. If filling is too thick, add second tablespoon heavy cream.
  7. Once cookies cool, pipe or spread creme filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies to form sandwiches.

Source: Coleman Natural Foods
C&H Sugar

Videos 24 May 2021

Breakfast Burrito

You know the feeling: You eat breakfast, but by 11 a.m. your stomach is growling. You feel like you just ate but somehow you’re hungry and craving something hearty and rich.

Switch up your breakfast habits with wholesome and filling Breakfast Burrito. It’s got protein to keep you full, veggies for a touch of added nutrition and hot sauce to pack a powerful punch of flavor in every bite.

No more snacking between breakfast and lunch. This hearty breakfast bite will keep you full and bursting with energy until it’s time for your next meal. It’s easy to make in a matter of minutes and it’s totally customizable to accommodate every palate.

Made with beans, eggs and egg white proteins, it can help keep you energized and full until it’s time for lunch. The red onion, red bell peppers, salsa, tomatoes and avocado provide some fresh, nutritious vegetable options and the chili flakes and hot sauce bring the heat.

To make this burrito, start with canola oil in a skillet. Add red onion and red bell peppers then cook for 8 minutes. Add black beans, chili flakes, salt and pepper then stir.

Whisk eggs and egg whites in a mixing bowl. Add pepper jack cheese then scramble the egg and cheese mixture in a hot skillet.

On a tortilla, spread sour cream, salsa, the bean mixture, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, avocado and hot sauce, if desired. Roll up the burrito and it’s ready to serve.

Just like that you have a breakfast that is not only nutritious but equally as appetizing. Find more filling breakfast recipes at Culinary.net.

If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Breakfast Burrito

Servings: 4

  • 2          teaspoon canola oil
  • 1          small red onion, diced
  • 1          red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1          can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4       teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4          eggs
  • 4          egg whites
  • 1/2       cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 4          flour tortillas
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 1/4       cup salsa
  • 1          large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1          avocado, sliced
  • hot sauce (optional)
  1. In large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add red onion and red bell pepper; cook 8 minutes. Add black beans and red pepper flakes; cook 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to dish.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites. Stir in cheese until combined. Heat large skillet over low heat, add egg mixture and scramble 3 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. Spread sour cream over tortilla. Spread salsa over sour cream. Spoon 1/4 bean mixture over salsa. Spoon 1/4 scrambled eggs over bean mixture. Top with diced tomatoes and avocado. Drizzle with hot sauce, if desired. Roll-up burrito. Repeat three times with remaining ingredients and serve.
Meal Ideas 30 April 2021

Take Salad Season to the Next Level

(Family Features) Warmer months typically call for lighter bites, and one of the first things that comes to mind for many is a fresh and flavorful salad. While a salad is a quick and easy way to up your veggie intake and get food on the table in next to no time, the same formula over and over again can make mealtimes feel mundane.

To take your salads to the next level, think of those greens as a blank slate for creativity and look beyond the bowl for elements that can help create new, satisfying meals. For example, Fresh Express Chopped Salad Kits are tasty and versatile salad mixtures with premium ingredients that can also be eaten as sides with your favorite protein or used as toppers for favorites like pizza and tostadas to help kick mealtime up a notch. The salads are thoroughly washed, rinsed and gently dried then sealed in keep-crisp bags for long-lasting freshness.

These easy Kickin’ Chicken Tostadas are made using the Kickin’ Bacon Ranch Chopped Kit, which includes garden fresh cabbage, green leaf lettuces, carrots, green onions, tortilla strips, uncured bacon bits and some heat from jalapeno ranch dressing. Just add the mixture to tostada shells topped with salsa verde chicken and avocado for a flavorful combination.

Or for a tasty twist on traditional favorites like pizza and burgers, try this Thousand Island Burger Pizza using the Bacon Thousand Island Chopped Kit – a combination of iceberg and green leaf lettuces, uncured bacon bits, Parmesan cheese crisps, honey butter cornbread crisps and creamy Thousand Island dressing – to bring sweet and savory flavors together with beef and cheese on top of a homemade pizza crust.

Find more ideas to elevate salad season at freshexpress.com.

Thousand Island Burger Pizza

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          can (11 ounces) refrigerated thin pizza crust 
  • 12        ounces lean ground beef 
  • 1          cup pizza sauce
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1          package (9.4 ounces) Fresh Express Bacon Thousand Island Chopped Kit
  • 1/3       cup dill pickle slices
  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Unroll dough and spread on 13-by-9-inch nonstick baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes; remove from oven.
  3. In small skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef, stirring frequently, 8-10 minutes, or until no longer pink; drain. Spread sauce evenly on baked dough to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with beef and cheese.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Top with lettuce, bacon and salad toppings from kit and pickle slices. Drizzle with Thousand Island dressing from kit. Cut into 12 (3-by-3-inch) pieces.

Kickin’ Chicken Tostadas

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1          jar (16 ounces) salsa verde, any heat level
  • 2          packages (10.2 ounces each) Fresh Express Kickin’ Bacon Ranch Chopped Kit
  • 12        tostada shells
  • 1          avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  1. In large, covered skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in salsa verde 20 minutes, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  2. Remove chicken, reserving 1/2 cup salsa verde; shred with two forks. Toss with reserved salsa verde.
  3. Place salad from kit in large bowl; toss with half the salad dressing from kit. Add toppings from kit; toss to combine.
  4. Divide salad evenly among tostada shells. Top each salad with chicken and avocado; drizzle with remaining dressing.

Source:  Fresh Express

Videos 21 April 2021

BLT Wrap with Avocado Spread

Sometimes lunch is the most challenging meal of the day. When you wake up before heading to work or accomplishing the morning’s tasks, you might ask yourself, “What should I pack for lunch today?”

Lunch is a meal that everyone has different views on. Some enjoy a huge, filling lunch, some skip it altogether and others look for a light, nutritious option.

The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to midday food choices. If you desire crunch and texture, but also something light, you’re likely seeking food that is filling and going to give you enough energy to make it until dinner time.

This BLT Wrap with Avocado Spread is a perfect lunchtime pick-me-up that can leave you feeling full and ready to conquer the rest of the day’s work.

This recipe is simple and can be whipped together in minutes. Plus, it has fresh ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes and avocados.

Start by cooking eight strips of bacon in a hot skillet. While that’s cooking, slice the tomatoes and cut the lettuce leaves.

In a bowl, mash avocado, sour cream, lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt with a fork until combined.

On a flour tortilla, add avocado spread, one lettuce leaf, tomato slices and bacon. Roll everything up for an on-the-go meal.

This recipe is best served with banana peppers and Spanish rice for a nutrient-filled lunch.

It’s always nice to have a little break in the middle of the day, especially with a delicious meal that’ll have you ready to finish the day strong.

Find more lunch recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

BLT Wrap with Avocado Spread

Servings: 4

  • 8          slices cooked bacon
  • 1          avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 1/2       teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 4          flour tortillas
  • 4          large red leaf lettuce leaves
  • 2          large tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Spanish rice (optional)
  • banana peppers (optional)
  1. In large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Drain on plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, mash avocado, sour cream, lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt with fork until combined and smooth.
  3. Spread thin layer of avocado mixture over tortillas. Layer with lettuce leaves, tomatoes and bacon. Fold sides up and roll.
  4. Serve with Spanish rice and banana peppers, if desired.
Meal Ideas 12 March 2021

Maximize Family Meal Flavors with Cheese

(Family Features) While there are many ways to enhance the taste and texture of your family’s favorite dishes, perhaps one of the simplest and most impactful is the addition of cheese. From fish and seafood to veggie-inspired recipes, the dairy delight provides a versatile, flavorful ingredient.

One wholesome option is cheese made with 100% sustainably sourced Real California Milk from dairy farm families, which helps bring out the full flavor of dishes like California Queso Fresco Fish Tacos. Quality, authentic dairy can be part of flavor-driven experiences with your loved ones whether you enjoy the tacos during a “fish Friday” event or simply as an opportunity to share a meal as a family. You can also use queso fresco to elevate the flavor of dishes like chilaquiles, or turn to other varieties like Oaxaca for a capirotada or asadero for quiche.

If a vegetarian-friendly meal suits your style, cheese can also enhance plant-forward dishes like Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. These red bell peppers are cooked and seeded before being stuffed with onions, mushrooms, cheese and seasonings. Once they’re baked to an ooey-gooey doneness, they’re served with white rice for a filling yet healthful meal.

Visit realcaliforniamilk.com/hispanic-dairy to find more cheesy, delicious recipes.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: about 1 hour
Servings: 4

  • 4          red bell peppers
  • 1/2       cup, plus 1 tablespoon, vegetable oil, divided
  • 1          cup white onion (about 1 medium), 1/4-inch diced
  • 4          cups cremini or brown mushrooms (about 1 pound), 1/4-inch diced
  • 1          teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1          teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          cup Real California Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • cooked white rice, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Rub bell peppers with 1 tablespoon oil then use grill, broiler or gas stovetop burner to cook peppers, turning occasionally, until well charred, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cover and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
  3. In large skillet over medium heat, warm remaining oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic salt and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and liquid is almost entirely evaporated, 7-10 minutes.
  4. Rub charred skin from bell peppers. Slice off tops and remove seeds. Fill bell peppers with mushroom mixture, top with cheese and arrange in baking dish. Replace bell pepper tops and bake until cheese melts, 8-10 minutes. Serve with cooked rice.

 

California Queso Fresco Fish Tacos

Servings: 6 (12 tacos)

Avocado Radish Salsa:

  • 2          medium avocados, chopped
  • 1/3       cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4       cup diced radish
  • 5          serrano chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3          tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1          clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Tacos:

  • 1 1/2    pounds swordfish, or other whitefish, steaks or fillets
  • vegetable oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12        corn tortillas
  • 6          ounces Real California Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 2          medium ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1          cup shredded cabbage
  1. To make avocado radish salsa: In small bowl, combine avocados, onion, radish, chile peppers, cilantro, garlic and lime juice. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  2. Heat grill to medium heat.
  3. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Rub oil on both sides to coat; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill fish 6-9 minutes until cooked through; cool slightly. Remove skin and bones; cut fish into 1 1/2-inch strips.
  4. In medium bowl, toss fish with lime juice and cumin. Warm tortillas in microwave or at 275 F in oven.
  5. Place equal amounts of fish, cheese, tomatoes, cabbage and salsa in center of each tortilla. Roll up tacos to serve.

Substitution: Use Real California Asadero or Monterey Jack cheese for Queso Fresco.  

Source: Real California Milk

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